Jury duty. I think a few of you just threw up in your mouths a little. Maybe more than a few. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of doing my civic duty in reporting, and being selected, for jury duty.
Alright, enough jury duty bashing because I didn’t have a terrible time. It was a very interesting experience. I felt myself being drawn in as the state called their witnesses and the defense crossed. There were compelling opening and closing statements and, not gonna lie, I kinda wanted to stand up and scream, “Objection!” just for the heck of it.
In the end the decision of guilt or innocence was placed into the hands of us six jurors. It’s actually a pretty heavy burden of responsibility. They made me the foreman and so I had to sign the verdict and all that. I felt like I was in the middle of a Law and Order episode.
I’d been called for jury duty before but had been able to find an exception I could check off allowing me to skip. But I’m glad I didn’t this time and the reason isn’t just because I got to experience the whole courtroom dynamic. It’s because of a person I served with.
Yeah, surprise, this isn’t a blog about jury duty…entirely. I know many of you are disappointed but hang with me. The woman we’ll call, Wendy, had about 20 years on me but her eyes were young as if all prior life experience had been erased and replaced with a clean slate. We made a connection because her husband was a firefighter for a long time and, for those of you who don’t know, that’s what I do full time.
At one point we found ourselves out in the lobby waiting for the people in charge to work out some legal matters, and she began to tell me about the work she did in the community with families and kids living in poverty. She explained that she’s in the process of getting her Masters degree and is planning on using it to help families in need even more than she has already.
The sincerity of her heart touched mine and, as I watched her, I noticed a broken heart appear over her head. But it only stayed broken for a moment. A few seconds after I saw the image it began to come together as if being repaired by unseen hands. Then I heard the Lord begin to share how he has placed the gifts and abilities inside of Wendy to see how the broken things can be restored and not only live but thrive!
“Hey, Wendy,” I interjected when she paused. “I just wanted to let you know that I see a broken heart hovering over your head but it didn’t stay broken. I watched it come together and now I can’t even tell that it was ever broken.” Normally I ask if it’s okay to share what God lays on my heart but I already knew she was a believer and that we were like minded so I felt comfortable just telling her. “I hear the Lord saying that you are an engineer of sorts,” I added.
A smile spread across her face as she began to laugh the joy-filled laughter that comes when God speaks straight to your heart. She nodded confirmation that the words spoke to something deep within her. “You have the ability to see how to repair what’s been broken—how to bring together what’s been separated and build sturdy structures,” I continued. “And you can see all of this because of the revelation of God’s love you’ve received over the course of your own life. The different ways he has repaired and restored things in your own past has given you insight into the power of his love. It’s his love that gives you the clarity as you model Jesus to the world around you.”
I continued to encourage her as the Lord led and I could see the peace and refreshment wash over her. I know she’s had, and is going to have, a huge impact on many lives.
This was a word the Lord gave me for Wendy but it speaks to all of us on some level. Not all of us are passionate about serving in the community the way Wendy does and that’s okay. She is being led by God in her own unique gifts and abilities. But all of us have traveled through rough times and many of us still look back and count it a miracle that we made it through.
So this word is for YOU. You are an engineer. If you have been through a trial and come out on the other side not just surviving but living, you have insight that is critical to the success of others caught in the same tragic circumstances. You have seen how God picks up the shattered pieces and restores them into something even greater than they were before. We need you to share your story and help us navigate through darkness we can’t see through. Don’t hesitate to show us the plans for a foundation that will be solid under our feet.
We need God first and foremost. But sometimes the need we have for each other gets swept away in the current. Many of us are only alive in Jesus today because someone who’d gone before us shared their testimony.
You’re all a huge blessing to the world around you.
Jesse and Kara